Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'll sue if I do not get the job...

If you can imagine it, it probably will unfold in the remnants of the once noble Anglican Communion.  This time a candidate for Bishop who was passed over is mulling over a suit against the C of  E thinking that he was overlooked on purpose because he is gay.

Read it all here...

Apparently ordination is no longer the privilege bestowed by the Church upon candidates whom the Church has elected but a right to be demanded and for which legal action may ensure if the right is not honored.  I do not get it.  Whatever does it matter why the Church has passed on a candidate?  That is the right of the Church to which the candidate has no recourse.  The reason may not be right or fair or logical but the Church does not have to explain it or defend it.  The decision gets made.  Funny how this is not about orthodox faith or practice but about sexual orientation.  Funny how this is not about what is best for the Church or the faith but about the bruised ego of someone who believes they deserved something for which they had expectation of right. 

I know that there have been seminarians asked not to return, graduates who did not receive certification for ordination, and candidates who were never elected to a congregation.  Some of those have been my friends and acquaintances.  I know that all were greatly disappointed and all went through life-changing struggles in response.  But in no case did anyone sue in the mistaken belief that ordination is a right.  I would expect that had the SCOTUS decision on Hosanna-Tabor been different, these suits might have become more common here in the US and even, perhaps, in our own LCMS. 


Anonymous said...

It has been the policy of the LCMS
to present "A qualified for
ordination" certificate to those
who were deemed so by the Seminary
faculty. Supposedly, this is based
on in-depth interviews with the
candidate who has his Master of
Divinity degree from their Seminary.

Often the Master of Divinity holder
declines to even want to be ordained
and saves the Seminary a headache.

Carl Vehse said...

"I would expect that had the SCOTUS decision on Hosanna-Tabor been different, these suits might have become more common here in the US and even, perhaps, in our own LCMS."

It is definitely speculative to guess what a different SCOTUS decision might have been and what it may cause to happen. But that has never been a barrier to blog postings speculating on such topics. ;-)

Certainly if the SCOTUS had eliminated the "ministerial exception" all together, not only for ADA, but for all EEOC cases, then one might expect to see women, homosexuals, bisexuals, pedophiles, bestophiles, polysexuals, the criminally insane, or heavy metal rock musicians suing the Missouri Synod if it refused to recognize them by ordination as called pastors.

On the other hand, the SCOTUS could have recognized that while the ADA ministerial exception applies to various discriminations made illegal in one subchapter of Act, the ministerial exception does not apply to retaliation/coercion made illegal in another subchapter not covered by the ministerial exception. However, if this had been the decision, little would have changed. A Missouri Synod church would simply claim their Lutheran doctrine requires them to depose called commissioned teachers who have narcolepsy or are overweight or part their hair the wrong way or whatever. The courts would allow them the ministerial exception without questioning the doctrine, and the Synod headquarters would be unlikely to rule for the deposed teacher if the case were brought to the dispute resolution process.